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Chicagoland Top 5 Shrimp and Grits

With its origins in the low country of South Carolina and Georgia, shrimp and grits have migrated all over the United States.  The blank canvas of the grits is perfect for the vast variations on this classic southern dish.  World-class chefs, and home cooks alike, put their own spin on a dish that can be super simple or highly creative.  There is no shortage on restaurants serving shrimp and grits in the Chicagoland area.  We have eaten shrimp and grits in a plethora of eateries all over Chicagoland, and here are our Top 5 Shrimp and Grits creations.

#5  Flavor RestaurantRichton Park, IL, 5091 Sauk Trail Dr.  Flavor Restaurant has had smothered shrimp and grits on its menu since 2002 and has been a model of consistency.  Every time we dine at Flavor, the shrimp and grits are savory and hearty.  Flavor uses cream, not water, in their grits preparation, creating an extra depth of much appreciated flavor.  Ten medium tail-off shrimp are folded into the grits then topped with a velvety gravy.  For a bit of an extra charge, feel free to have your shrimp and grits loaded with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and/or scallions.  Delightful.

#4  Soulé Ukrainian Village, Chicago, IL, 1931 W. Chicago Ave.  Soulé, new kid on the culinary block, opened in October 2017, and we feel they are going to be around for a long time.  Soulé shrimp and grits come with 6 medium, perfectly cooked, tail-on shrimp.  The New Orleans BBQ sauce took us back to Essence Fest in NOLA, while the tomatoes and scallions introduced a freshness that cut through the richness of the BBQ sauce.  The grits are creamy and infused with just the right amount of cheddar cheese.  Soulé shrimp and grits are top flight.

#3   Peach’s Restaurant Bronzeville, Chicago IL, 4652 S. King Dr.  What we enjoyed about Peach’s shrimp and cheese grits are the different ingredients incorporated into the dish.  Mushrooms, tomatoes, pork or turkey bacon, and scallions kept our taste buds attentive.  This is no boring shrimp and grits.  The stone-ground grits were polenta-like and came with plenty of cheddar cheese.  Four tail-on jumbo shrimp, cooked and seasoned expertly, are star of the mix, while the garlic cream sauce ties the dish together.  Good eatin’.

#2   Hidden Manna CaféMatteson, IL, 3613 W. 216th St.  The cream sauce at Hidden Manna Café is what brings their shrimp and grits to #2 on our list.  The sauce is made with green peppers, red peppers, red onions, tons of minced garlic, Cajun seasonings and heavy cream.  The spicy chicken andouille sausage and ¼ pound of jumbo shrimp are added.  The cream sauce is then ladled over smooth and creamy grits.  No calorie counting allowed.

#1   Luella’s Southern KitchenRavenswood, Chicago, IL, 4609 N. Lincoln Ave.  Luella’s Southern Kitchen comes in at #1 on our Top 5 Best Shrimp and Grits in Chicagoland for good reason.  Luella’s shrimp and grits are simply delicious, a cut above the rest.   What sets apart Luella’s shrimp and grits is the fact that Luella’s, with conscious intent, makes their grits the star of the show.  Luella’s gets locally sourced corn and stone grinds it in-house.  This process leads to course ground grits that add unexpected texture to the dish.  A hint of cream cheese is added to the grits during the cooking process.  Luella’s uses a New Orleans-style BBQ sauce made with Worcestershire Sauce, butter and Cajun seasonings.  Just the right amount of sauce is ladled over the grits, with 6 perfectly cooked and seasoned tail-on jumbo shrimp perched atop, with a finishing garnish of pea shoots.  The end result is an elegant and unique heavenly creation.  The cream cheese renders a subtle tartness, while the pea shoots add the freshness and subtle taste of baby peas.  Chef and Owner, Darnell Reed, has created the perfect shrimp and grits dish.  Kudos to Luella’s Southern Kitchen!

We hope you get a chance to sample all five of these wonderful variations of shrimp and grits.  Let us know what you think in the comments section or email us at theblackfoodies@gmail.com.

The Black Foodies are food bloggers/vloggers and husband and wife of 25 years.  We are also home cooks that believe in group economics and LOVE great food.  We write the food blog ‘Let’s Eat’, where we review black-owned and other ethnic restaurants.   FOLLOW us on Instagram and Twitter @theblackfoodies, SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel ‘The Black Foodies’, where we review restaurants, share recipes, and give cooking tips.

https://youtu.be/f1fsSQ24wgQ.  Also LIKE us on Facebook and join our Facebook group, ‘World Wide Black Foodies’.


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